Chemical research in toxicology

Metabolism of [14C]benzyl selenocyanate in the F344 rat.

PMID 1793806


Benzyl selenocyanate (BSC), a synthetic organoselenium compound, has been shown to inhibit chemically induced tumors in several animal model systems. However, it is not known whether BSC or one of its metabolites is responsible for the chemopreventive effect. An initial approach to this question requires the structural elucidation of BSC metabolites in vitro and in vivo. To determine the structures of BSC metabolites in vitro, we studied the metabolism of [14C]BSC using Aroclor-induced rat liver 9000g supernatant. Under these conditions, BSC was partially converted to dibenzyl diselenide (DDS) and phenylmethaneseleninic acid. The metabolism of [14C]BSC (12.5 mg/kg body weight, 8 mCi/mmol, oral administration) in male F344 rats was also studied. Excretion was monitored by measurement of radioactivity as well as by selenium content using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). The results indicate that urine was the major route of excretion. Approximately 22% of the dose was excreted in the urine over the course of 35 days; however, a large portion (approximately 70%) of the dose remained in the body. Benzoic acid, hippuric acid, and their sulfate and glucuronide conjugates, accounting for 16% of the dose, were identified in the urine. The formation of these metabolites indicates that BSC is metabolized in part via bond cleavage between the benzyl moiety and the selenocyanate function. Additional support for this cleavage was obtained from fecal analysis; over the course of 23 days 9% of the selenium (AAS) but only less than 1% of the radioactivity was recovered in feces. No radioactivity was detected in the exhaled air. We also studied the metabolism of [14C]DDS (17.3 mg/kg body weight, 2.5 mCi/mmol) in male F344 rats.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)